Current technologies exist to significantly reduce the waste stream going to landfills. ZWV is investigating processes to reduce organic waste via composting, anaerobic digestion and bio-char production. These combined technologies could result in nearly a 50% reduction in waste currently trucked off-Island to the landfill at Cedar Hills.
The most familiar technology is also the oldest, composting which uses air breathing bacteria to break down compostable materials into a great soil amendment. A more modern version is Anaerobic Digestion which uses bacteria in the absence of oxygen to breakdown the organic material. A third technology is both ancient and new, biochar. BioChar is the charcoal created in the absence of oxygen. It has special properties that make it a wonderful soil synergistic amendment. We’ll cover these technologies in detail in the following pages. But the first step is easier. It begins in the home. We can all reduce waste by avoiding excess packaging, bulk purchasing, and active recycling.